News in numbers

Verdict InsurTech gathers the most important industry news in recent times, including some startling figures

£3 million

Lifestyle insurtech startup Yulife has raised £3m in a funding round led by UK-based venture capital firm LocalGlobe to launch its operation in the UK.

The funding round was also joined by fintech investor Anthemis Exponential Ventures and Israel-based venture investor OurCrowd.

The London-based lifestyle insurance business was established in 2016 by CEO Sammy Rubin, a former CEO of Vitality Life.

The company offers a game based wellbeing app based on artificial intelligence (AI) and behavioural science which encourages employees to take care of their physical and mental wellbeing and receive rewards.

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The cross-party group of MPs in the UK have launched a probe into whether insurance overcharging is prevalent in firms and banks.

The MPs, who are on the Treasury Committee, will investigate whether certain groups are excluded from obtaining a basic level of service from banks and insurers.

The inquiry, which will focus on ‘financially vulnerable’ consumers, follows allegations that rip-off insurance firms are charging nearly 10-18 times of the original premium for, home, travel holiday insurance policies.

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£78 billion

The pricing of car and house insurance is set to be investigated in an FCA insurance review.

Harm to consumers will be analysed by the Financial Conduct Authority. Specifically, it will examine pricing practices, who it affects, and what actions should be taken. The FCA said UK insurers generated £78bn ($99.3bn) in premiums from customers and that 82% of adults had one or more general insurance product.

Issues that may cause harm include failures to have appropriate of clear pricing, governance and controls.

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per year

ANZ OnePath has rolled out its predictive underwriting technology after a soft launch to offer clients real time policy.

Created in collaboration with the University of Technology Sydney’s Advanced Analytics Institute, the new underwriting engine provides simpler, more intuitive experience for customers applying for OneCare insurance.

Powered by big data, artificial intelligence and data science, the new underwriting engine enables customers to apply for OneCare insurance and conclude the process 30% faster than traditional process.

The new underwriting system offers higher straight-through processing and acceptance rates. It is expected to slash underwriting referral triggers by near 2,300 per year.

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Leave.EU and Arron Banks’ insurance unit face fines over data breach

Leave.EU, a Brexit campaign group, and Arron Banks-owned insurance unit Eldon face fines totalling £130,000 from the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) over violation of data privacy rules.

The ICO, which published its finding following an investigation into the misuse of personal data for political campaigns, stated that both Leave.EU and Eldon Insurance (trading as GoSkippy) breached the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003 (PECR) that governs electronic marketing.

The two entities face fines of £60,000 each for sending emails in August 2016 following the referendum and the ensuing year.

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Co-op insurance sale now a real possibility with Makerstudy

The much troubled Co-op Group could be set to sell its insurance arm to Makerstudy.

Valued at roughly £300m ($391m), the Co-op insurance sale is in advanced talks, but nothing has been decided.

Makerstudy Group, a privately owned company, already owns 5% of the UK’s motor insurance policies.

GSO, the credit arm of Blackstone, is one of the approached parties to help Makerstudy fund the acquisition.

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No threat to EU financial stability from British insurers in hard Brexit

The British and Gibraltarian insurance firms, which are yet to transfer contracts with European Economic Area (EEA) customers to the bloc, do not pose any threat to the financial stability of the EU.

This is according to the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA).

The EIOPA was quoted by Reuters as saying that the biggest insurers in the UK and its overseas territory Gibraltar are transferring approximately 30 million contracts to ensure ‘continuity’ is not affected even if Britain comes out of the EU without a withdrawal Brexit deal in March 2019.

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Zurich restructures Canadian insurance operations

Commercial insurance provider Zurich has reshuffled its organisational structure and team for its Canadian operations.

The new structure and team, according to Zurich, is part of its plan to streamline and boost its ‘go-to-market approach’.

The latest organisational structure follows the recent appointment of Saad Mered as the CEO of Zurich Canada.

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UK and EU sign tentative Brexit deal on financial services

The UK has signed a tentative deal with the EU to provide domestic financial service providers continued access to European market following Brexit.

Citing government sources, a report from The Times stated that both the parties agreed on all key aspects of future partnership including information sharing.

It added that the deal will enable UK companies to operate across the European markets till the British and EU financial regulations are aligned.

As the UK is set to leave EU in March next year, all the major global banks with operations in the country had to restructure their operations.

Many financial companies have set up new hubs and moved their staff to new locations, as a part of this reorganisation.

Under the current system, EU allows foreign banks and insurers access to the European market when they are guided by similar financial regulations.

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